It sounds like a simple thing, to say what you see, Mark Doty begins. But try to find words for the shades of a mottled sassafras leaf, or the reflectivity of a bay on an August morning, or the very beginnings of desire stirring in the gaze of someone looking right into your eyes . . . Doty finds refuge in the sensory experience found in poems by Blake, Whitman, Bishop, and others. The Art of Description is an invaluable book by one of America's most revered writers and teachers.
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